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A Whale Skimmer – July 4, 2010 Updates (NPR,, Reuters /

July 5, 2010

From  Large-scale skimmer continues testing in Gulf   A great video, which takes you “onboard” A Whale.  Includes views from the navigation deck, and great coverage of “the jaws.” 

According to the text article, there are issues that are being reviewed by the Unified Command: 

  • Due to the size of A Whale, operating safety is a concern – the skimmer requires a 1/2 mile radius all around it.
  • After separating the oil and water, the separated water is discharged into the Gulf.  What is the environmental impact of the discharged water?


From NPR:  

Taiwanese shipping firm TMT, which owns the vessel, calls it the world’s largest oil skimmer. Sunday was the second day of testing the ship’s abilities for U.S. Coast Guard and BP officials who will make a decision about whether to put it — and its purported capacity to suck up 21 million gallons of oil-tainted water per day — to work in the Gulf.

But even the giant vessel is having trouble with the weather, TMT spokesman Bob Grantham said in an e-mail Sunday.

“As was the case yesterday, the sea state, with waves at times in excess of ten feet, is not permitting optimal testing conditions,” he said.

The vessel’s crew is hoping for calmer conditions, so they can test its skimming ability with a containment boom system designed to direct greater amounts of oily water to the ship’s intake vents.

A decision on whether the ship can be used to help scour the crude from the Gulf will be made in a few days, Grantham said.


From Reuters / 2010-07-05T00:19:09

Rescue for BP? Reports say it’s seeking investor

New York Times reports company also wants help paying for cleanup

LONDON/DUBAI — BP Plc is seeking a strategic investor to secure its independence in the face of any takeover attempts as it struggles with a devastating oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, newspapers said Sunday.

Britain’s Sunday Times said the company’s advisers were trying to drum up interest among rival oil groups and sovereign wealth funds to take a stake of between 5 and 10 percent in the company at a cost of up to 6 billion pounds ($9.1 billion).

The reports came as The New York Times said that BP is asking its partners in the ruptured well, Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., to contribute nearly $400 million to the clean-up effort.


Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph reported BP was facing fresh criticism over its approach to safety as it emerged it did not use an industry standard process, known as a safety case, to assess risk at the Deepwater Horizon rig.

A BP spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that it did not use the procedure, developed in Britain after the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion in 1988, at any of its U.S. wells as there was no legal requirement in the U.S. to use it.


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